Oak is a beautiful, versatile and symbolic material. Oak framed buildings feel somehow alive with atmosphere and warmth – they can be rich, rustic and charming; or light, innovative and spacious when combined with modern materials and architectural ideas.
Oakmasters specialises in working with this unique timber. As a family company, we've been providing international, commercial and private customers with luxury oak products for over 30 years, having worked on prestigious restoration projects with the Mary Rose Trust and Hampton Court Palace amongst others.
We craft all our period and contemporary oakwork using modern technologies as well as traditional hand craftsmanship, combining traditional detail and service with modern efficiency and value. Our affordable components are made to suit any specification – from a single beam right up to full oak houses and buildings - we can meet any designs and styles our customers require.
Our flexible production methods enable us to work closely with all our clients, to achieve their goals.
Meet with one of our consultants to discuss your architectural requirements or ideas and we will help set out solutions for your project - incorporating the latest 3D CAD design techniques.
We are also happy to provide our own services for structural engineering, planning and building regulations applications on your behalf.
We can offer you complete flexibility, whether you already have specifications and require straightforward manufacture or you want to discuss a full concept-to-completion package. We will be delighted to offer any innovative assistance we can.
Straight sawn oak beams tend to look rather rough and ready, usually featuring saw marks, rough edges and splinters. We feel this can detract from the overall aesthetics of an oak frame structure or decorative installation. In fact it seems a shame to spend money on such an attractive, premium material without taking any care of the surface finish!
Quality is of paramount importance to us at Oakmasters so, all of our oak products come planed smooth all around, with hand surface finish to remove any imperfections.
Oak is one of the most durable and naturally defensive materials you will find. Essentially it is maintenance-free. There are treatments such as Sikkens or wax oils you can use to maintain the original colour. It is, however a labour of love and requires ongoing commitment and regular maintenance. We recommend following manufacturers' instructions for each type of product. If you allow the oak to go silver naturally, then it is maintenance free.
We use green oak for most framing applications. It is recently fresh from the tree. Often up to a year old depending on the season, as it is preferable to fell oak at certain times of the year. Green oak has a high moisture content and it is normal and expected that the oak will shrink and move in the first few years of its life, and natural splits known as shakes will form over time. See Green Oak in Eco-building for more information.
We use air dried oak in various applications like external cladding or glazing capping. Air dried oak is ideal for use in situations where the wood needs to be seasoned in order to fit its environment. Air dried oak is left in naturally ventilated drying sheds for long periods of time to allow the moisture content to reduce down to a stable level. This process is usually only used for plank shaped sections of oak as it takes many years for thicker pieces to dry. Some less scrupulous players in the market pass off thicker pieces of oak for air dried after only a few months of drying, but this should not be trusted. We usually work to a rule of 1 year per inch thickness plus a year to dry down to a stable 20% moisture content.
We only use kiln dried oak in our more precise joinery products such as specialist beam casings or oak beam covers. As green oak dries out over a number of years in a natural environment cracks and splits can sometimes occur in the surface. This is fine for an oak frame building however movement like this is not preferable in joinery products which require high levels of precision. The use of a kiln speeds up the drying period in a controlled environment, which is useful for products like beam casings as it prevents natural warping or splitting which would pull the tightly crafted joints apart. The production of kiln dried oak is of course more energy and time intensive and therefore it increases the end cost of the product.
There are various different stages of development or involvement at which you might want to approach us with your project and we are always happy to offer areas of our services as and when they are required. Find out more about the services we offer: